Jemena Energy Network (JEN)
Jemena Energy demand response platform exceeds expectations
Jemena Energy distributes electricity to over 319,000 residential customers in north-west Melbourne and is one of five electricity distribution networks in Victoria.
Utilising smart meter technology and GreenBe’s Utility web and mobile apps, Jemena launched ‘Power Changers’ in partnership with the Victorian Government – an innovative, technology-led, community program which enabled customers to save money on their household electricity bills while being rewarded for saving energy and reducing demand on the grid.
Innovative technology-led demand side management using smart meter data
In Australian summer months, households can use three times more energy than usual during peak times, placing the electricity grid under pressure on extremely hot days.
Demand Side Management (DSM) has enormous potential to reduce energy costs for consumers as well as to enhance grid reliability. The Jemena Power Changers Demand Response (DR) program provided an opportunity to test new ways of connecting with energy customers, who in most cases had no connection to Jemena’s digital services.
Unlike other DR programs, Jemena Power Changers connected directly with the customer whilst integrating with smart-meter technology (AMI).
“I like the simplicity of Power Changers, because simple things work really well. Power Changers ticks the boxes for improving energy efficiency and engagement with community, providing long-term solutions.”
– Helen Poulter PHD, University of Exeter. Power Changers on the international stage, Jemena Energy
Participating households were provided with near real-time data enabling them to make smart choices about how and when they use electricity during heatwaves. Participants received in-app challenges, tips and advice about how to save energy. In return for positive action they earned rewards in the form of gift cards or were able to make donations to local groups and schools.
Outcomes from the 2017/18 summer program include:
- High level of customer satisfaction – Customers reported the Power Changers app motivated them to engage frequently and reduce their electricity usage. The app helped them to save money on their electricity bill and made them more conscious and informed about conserving electricity during peak events.
- Smart meter live data feed – AMI data provided direct household feedback in 30-minute increments.
- Incentives and price signal A/B test – The average customer was paid $83 as incentive payment, with $35,000 donated to local community groups or charities.
- Customers reducing energy consumption – Each customer reduced their usage by an average of 0.84kW (the equivalent of one clothes dryer cycle).
- Lower cost to service and customer trust – Jemena’s mobile apps helped to build trust, connectedness and openness, as customers were eager to provide vital feedback.
Jemena energy customers residing in Alphington, Craigieburn, Eaglemont, Ivanhoe and Ivanhoe East were invited to register.
The success rate of peak event challenges continued to increase, with an average of 79% successfully keeping energy below target.
Participants that opted into the Power Changers peak event challenges on very hot days saved the equivalent of one clothes dryer cycle.
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